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Autechre remixes from 1994 to 2007

April 25, 2018 Leave a comment

Autechre did a number of amazing remixes in the 1990 especially in the golden era of Warp records and IDM and ambient techno. I collected them into 15 tracks and made a mix out of it with the following tracks :

1) Push Button Objects – Non-Existant (Keyed in by Gescom) – 1998 [0:00]
2) Beaumont Hannant – Psi-Onyx (Psix Million Dollar Myx Oscar Goldmans Bonus) – 1995 [0:50]
3) Boards of Canada / Rakim & Autechre [7:00]
4) Schaft – SKF10047 (Autechre Remix) – 1995 [12:40]
5) Saint Etienne – Like a Motorway (Skin Up, You’re Already Dead) – 1994 [19:00]
6) Sanoqoua – Saki Kaskas – 1996 [25:45]
7) Soft Ballet – Jail Of Freedom (Jailtilsli) by Autechre -1995 [31:30]
8 )Slowly – On The Loose (For Internal Use Only Mix By Autechre) – 1995 [38:00]
9) D’Breez – Crazy for Love (Autechre Remix) – 1999 [43:00]
10) The Higher Intelligence Agency – Speech3 (Conoid Tone Reformed By Autechre) – 1994 [47:30]
11) Coil – Dark River (Autechre Mix) – 1995 [52:15]
12) Silvania – 1Belm (Autechre Mix 2) – 1996 [58:15]
13) Gescom – Viral Rival (Rmxd by Ae) – 1998 [64:45]
14) Surgeon – Whose Bad Hands Are These- (Autechre Remix) – 2007 [71:05]
15) Various Artists aka Torsten Pröfrock – Autechre – 9 (Remix) – 1999 [76:20]

 

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Synthwave drive into motion pictures

November 28, 2017 1 comment

Synthwave, also called outrun, retrowave and retro-electro is a genre influenced by 1980s film soundtracks and video games. Aesthetically, synthwave gives a retrofuturistic perspective, emulating 1980s science fiction, action, and horror media, sometimes compared to cyberpunk. It expresses nostalgia for 1980s culture, attempting to capture the era’s atmosphere and celebrate it. Perhaps the most famous movie to use or to kickstart the use of a full-on electro soundtrack was the movie Drive by Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn. Drive was praised by the legendary Robert Ebert and had a standing ovation at Cannes festival in 2011. Although Drive shares several characteristics with the similarly-named 1978 Walter Hill car-chase film, The Driver, it is actually adapted from the 2005 James Sallis novel of the same name.

The title track, entitled Nightcall by Kavinsky is produced by one of Daft punk and shares some of the magic of their early french touch work in the 90’s. Nightcall was produced by Daft Punk’s Guy-Manuel De Homem-Christo and features Brazilian lead singer of CSS, Lovefoxxx. The track was used in the title sequence for Drive.  Most of its ethereal electronic-pop score was composed by Cliff Martinez, who was a drummer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Refn was a particular fan of his ambient work on the Sex, Lies, and Videotape soundtrack. Many movies followed in the aftermath of Drive such as The neon demon (also by Refn), It follows, Maniac and Turbo kid.

Kavinsky ‎– Nightcall (Record Makers) – 2010


Electro has always been highly cinematic, just think of the synths used by Vangelis in Blade runner, although more ambient in its genre, the electronic scores bears an intensity difficult to obtain with traditional instruments. As polyphonic sounds are used on synthesizers like the Korg, rightfully so used on BR, it can enhances dramatically a scene and put the emphasis on certain emotions.

Recently, we have seen a plethora of TV shows using those lush sounds. A gimmick or a real trend ? Who knows? From the highly overrated Stranger things, to Utopia’s Cristobal Tapia de Veer (who also scored the British remake of Humans, Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams and an upcoming episode of the masterful show Black mirror) to Mr Robot OST, made by Mac Quayle, it seems that electro is no longer played by DJ’s but has been finally find a niche while being embraced by movie directors and showrunners like Sam Esmail. For Drive, for example, Refn wanted electronic music for the film and to have the music occasionally be abstract so viewers can see things from The Driver’s perspective. He gave composer Martinez a sampling of songs he liked and asked Martinez to emulate the sound, resulting in “a kind of retro, 80ish synth-pop” result. Recently, a famous iconic TV show used The Chromatics Shadow in their premiere. Black mirror S03 episode San junipero was scored by another Clint, Mansell this time, famously known for the soundtrack of Moon. Although more ambient in its tone, it showed that electronic music had come full circle and was largely embraced by TV shows : the soundtrack for just one episode, not even a full season, was so much in demand it had to be released on cd and vinyl !


These filmmakers have pretty much in common one person: John Carpenter. Vangelis and Tangerine dream can also be cited as reference. John Carpenter’s mostly known for his brand of horror flicks that includes Halloween, The thing and The fog. But he is also a gifted soundtrack composer as he did the score for Assault on precint 13, released in 1976. One of the film’s distinctive features is its score, composed and recorded by Carpenter. The combination of synthesizer hooks, electronic drones and drum machines sets it apart from many other scores of the period and creates a distinct style of minimalist electronic soundtrack with which Carpenter, and his films, would become associated. Carpenter had several banks of synthesizers that would each have to be reset when another sound had to be created, taking a great deal of time.

More recently, French acts including David Grellier’s project College, Kavinsky, Lifelike and Anoraak are recognized as the pioneers contributing to the early synthwave sound. These early artists began creating music inspired by famous 1980s score composers; music which was, at the time, largely associated with French house. Anoraak later stated in a 2014 interview: “American pop culture is definitely my background as a kid. I was born in 1980, so I grew up in a world taken by American music and movies”. Com Truise, whose retro synthesizer-based music was first released in 2010, has also described his music as synthwave.

Miami vice show from the 80’s also often serve as an aesthetic on many YouTube videos of Synthwave bands such as Miami nights 1984, VHS dreams and Timecop1983. Electric youth, featured on my mix ‘’Strange things & synths’’, an homage to Carpenter and an ode to S U R V I V E, are also a well-known respected band in the genre. From Toronto to France (College), to NYC (Com truise), to Australia (Jordan F), Copenhagen (Dynatron) and Gunship in London, those outfits underline dream like sequenced movies and soundtracks which contains tracks with vintage keyboards and bluntly descriptive titles as well.

When the 1980’s aesthetics of Terminator (1984) meets electro, Kavinsky’s Odd look is one heck of video to watch on YouTube !

Here is a fascinating video from the website called ‘’The rise of synths’’ below which can be streamed on Vimeo. Subtitles are in French!

P.-S. : Driver: If I drive for you, you get your money. You tell me where we start, where we’re going, where we’re going afterwards. I give you five minutes when we get there. Anything happens in that five minutes and I’m yours. No matter what. Anything a minute on either side of that and you’re on your own. I don’t sit in while you’re running it down. I don’t carry a gun. I drive.

A Deep voice from the Lake

August 15, 2016 Leave a comment

Maybe it was 3 or 4 years ago. I had first read about it in Resident advisor a year before but as their reviews are often to be taken with a grain of salt and often features duds, I didn’t check the album properly. Then I bought the album on vinyl, great experience but, most mixed albums fit better in the CD format. The mastering on cd here is fully is showcased in its glory at Enisslab studio, owned by Giuseppe Tillieci aka Neel, one part of Voices From The Lake. The title in itself was mysterious and enigmatic and it was one of the first things I heard from Italian producer Donato Dozzy. Voices from the lake consist of 2 Italian producers : Donato Scaramuzzi aka Donato Dozzy and Giuseppe Tillieci. Their eponymous debut, self titled Voices from the lake has gathered unanimous praises and after having listened to it for at least 25 or 30 times, I have to say that it is one of those albums that will come to define an era. The current decade for sure. Is it techno, or more precisely, Dub techno, ambient, minimal, electronic dub or all of the above ? Does it really matter ?

I’ve become less and less enamored with reviewing music because, to be frank, new music kinda sucks when you age (I’m not into the new Massive attack per se, as an example) and second of all, I kinda think like Zappa when he said that ”reviewing music with words is like dancing on architecture”. But here, we have an album that totally reinvents techno especially with those sublime warm ambiences. A lot has to do with the hypnotic grooves throughout the whole record : it’s like one idiosyncratic pulse that never wander away…There is a pulse for certain, but that is not what carries the mixed music as a whole, I mean it’s there, sometimes beneath the fuzzy textures but it’s not how I would define that quintessential record. So how would I ? Or better yet, why would I need to ? The result is rather most intriguing : it’s highly dynamic but yet very enigmatic as the grooves are never locked in there forever. They don’t dissappear either, they rather morph into something – an elusive mix of electronic that holds itself together like shapeshifting alien. The flow, the pacing and the spaces filled in the music are perfect.

This album is not and cannot be an instant favorite. It needs time to delve into one’s psyche. But when it stays, tracks like Virgo, remain there forever : This level of complexity wouldn’t be possible in most producers’ hands. As an art form, techno often strives to make something emotionally engrossing without using conventional stimuli like melody or lyrics. Dozzy and Neel have an incredible ear for sound design (Neel has also mastered many of Dozzy’s past records, including his album K, along with numerous other releases on Prologue), and this allows them to give each moment of the album a vivid foreground, middleground and background, each with countless details to pick apart. Voices From the Lake captivates from one moment to the next, but there’s
 a broad compositional element that keeps the whole thing moving. More than having just a beginning, middle and end, it has an introduction, several chapters and an epilogue.

The most memorable of these moments is “S.T. (VFTL Rework),” a new version of a song Dozzy recorded for an earthquake benefit compilation called Composure: Ambient Techno for Japan. By the time this track comes in, some 30 minutes into the album, we’ve gotten used to the idea that rhythm, texture and atmosphere might be all we’re going to get. This makes the arrival of smooth major chords, slowly cascading into the mix, truly climactic. Suddenly the album has an emotional dimension you didn’t see coming. It was a framework or a gimmick that was used a lot in the 1990’s on the IDM, ambient-techno and techno records. While working within known tools of electronic music such as sound design, linear rhythms, and slow build-ups, they have reworked techno’s fundamentals. This is why it is such a great record, a quintessential record, one that will stick for years to come. The range of soundscapes displayed on that record is so vast that it truly speaks for itself. I can’t think of a single techno, or dub techno, or minimal album that has struck such a deep Voice from the lake.

It is a landscape that is as beautiful as it is mesmerizing. The kind of place where I’d never want to vanish from, or maybe stay in the background, with the music flowing and growing on the same lake. Maybe that’s why it was called Voices from the lake. The voices remind me of Persistence of time by Dali. They never truly get out of your head. And we don’t want to either!

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